Countering terrorism through innovative approaches

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By Senator Rehman Malik

Today, as I spoke and presented the paper below in the UNO- IPU joint conference on the subject of Counter Terrorism in Belarus, I am really happy to state that I also raised the issue of Kashmir in most effective way during the two speeches I delivered in front of International media.

I made an appeal to the International Political Elite and Senior Members of UN to pay attention to the screams of Kashmiris who are under curfew since last one month. The International community is requested to ask Pm Modi to lift the curfew on SOS basis.

Before I could start my speech on what innovative approaches and latest technologies could be used to counter the plight of terrorism, I gave a detailed introduction of what terrorism is and why is it becoming a source of fear and distress.

Terrorism is mainly used to achieve political, religious and ideological ambitions and can be defined as the use of terror as weapon to create violence against persons or property to achieve the nefarious designs and targets. Terrorists mainly try to make the government hostage, the civilian as a target of terror, pitch one sect of religion to the other to gain political, economic and social objectives. The history of terrorism is as old as human presence on earth Terrorism is motivated towards creating a sense of fear among the people from different communities and the countries worldwide. In Modern language we can say the terrorism has transformed into a fear technology which contains multiple factors to scare people and governments to achieve the objectives conspired by terrorist groups, individuals and covertly by some states to achieve certain International geo-set of objectives. Although Terrorism is not something new and also can’t be termed as being a modern concept but its manifestations, tools and approaches are turning as modern and innovative.

Now the world has witnessed that the terrorism has been adopted as a tool to achieve a certain objective through act of terror. The most common causes or roots of terrorism include:- Civilizations or culture clashes, Globalization.

Individual-based reasons for terrorism are: Frustration, Deprivation, Negative identity, Conceited rage and Moral disengagement.

I am constrained to say that terrorism has also developed a tool of war which can be termed as an act through guerrilla or act of violence on specific targets by creating terror of terrorism. It is unfortunate that the world is developing a dangerous trend of creating and training groups to act as terrorist to achieve the specific targets against the enemy country

In short, terrorism is not legally defined in all jurisdictions; the statutes that do exist, however, generally share some common elements. Terrorism involves the use or threat of violence and seeks to create fear, not just within the direct victims but among a wide audience.

If we evaluate the existence of the concept of terrorism we will find its roots in the ancient history. However in civilized communities it is referred back to the French Revolution of the late 18th century when terror was used as an instrument of State Policy and in 19th century Narodnaya Volya a Russian terrorist organization used terrorism as a tool to achieve the political goals. In late 90’s, Kurds living in Syria, Turkey and Iran used terrorism to form a separate Kurdish state for themselves whereas in the same time period the Sri Lankan Tamils named as liberation Tigers used terrorist activities along with drugs trafficking with a strong support to the terrorist from the neighborhood.

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“Use of terrorism to promote certain criminal activity including drugs production, drugs trafficking, money laundering and any other benefit to be achieved via terror. Pakistan suffered a loss of $126 billion in 17 years”

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Presently, The Hindu extremist Sangh Parivar and mainly its Central Organization Rashtriya Sawayem Sevakh Sangh RSS are spreading violence and extremism across the India in order to eliminate the minorities residing in India and this is a new phenomenon in the form of RSS ideology based on religious extremism duly investigated by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom declaring in its 2004 recommendations, proposed that India be included on the State Department’s official shortlist of the worst religious persecutors for its “egregious, systematic, and ongoing” violations of religious fights. The designers of terrorism used religious groups as terrorists which are now an open secret that the world witnessed in Pakistan, Afghan, Philippines, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt, and Nigeria. There is a lot which can be spoken with authority and let me leave it for some other occasion. Al-Qaeda, Hizbollah, Hamas, ISIS and Boko Haram are world known lethal terrorists organization justifying their acts of terrorism in the name of Religion whereas they talk about religion but nothing to do spiritually with it. The new phenomenon of Daesh ISIS is fast emerging a lethal terrorist Organization and the world reach to block its inhuman activities. For reference I would denote my book “Daesh –ISIS Rising Monster worldwide” which I produced basing on the ground realities, personal experiences and my analytical skills with respect to my experience in the field. The war between the former Soviet Union and US in Afghanistan gave emergence to Jihadis, Talibans and subsequently Al Qaeda Whereas the entire lot of terrorist hailed from Middle East and not even a single terrorist from Pakistan or Afghanistan but both the countries are still suffering because of 9/11.

Today’s terrorism is much more different and fatal than that of the past because of the use of modern technology by the terrorists posing a threat that is qualitatively different from a damage based on firearms or chemical explosives used in the past.

While discussing the terrorism we need to comprehend its types and forms. With the division of the targets and the goals it can be divided into following classes:-

Religious Extremist turned into Terrorists with motives which are present in almost every religion

State-Sponsored Terrorism to achieve the geo political targets or targets against the given enemy. Now the espionage against the enemy is overtly done through acts of terrorism. Whereas espionage itself is a form of terrorism for the victim country.

Anti-State groups using Terror as a weapon to blackmail the state.

Socially distressed groups use terror for psychological reasons like what is happening in US by random individuals.

Use of terrorism to promote certain criminal activity including drugs production, drugs trafficking, Money laundering and any other benefit to be achieved via terror

Historically speaking the biggest sufferer in the hands of terrorist from all over the world is Pakistan where we have lost:-

According to Pakistan Economic Survey (PES) 2017-18 Pakistan suffered a loss of $126 billion in 17 years.

Pakistan faced losses of $2.67 billion in the year 2001-02 when United States invaded Afghanistan with the year wise losses gradually increasing till 2009-10.

Terrorism dented Pakistan’s economy by $9.18 billion in 2008-09, $13.56 billion in 2009-10, $23.77 billion in 2010-11, $11.98 in 2011-12, $9.97 billion in 2012-13, $7.70 billion in 2013-14, $9.24 billion in 2014-15, $6.49 billion in 2015-16, $5.47 billion in 2016-17 and $2.07 billion in 2017-18

Pakistan could not collect $3459.67 million tax due to terrorism in last two years, in addition, $383.93 million has been spent on infrastructure and $129.89 million paid to affectees of terrorism 

War on terror cost the proceeds of privatization by $251.19 million and industrial output by $1043.90 million.

Finance Ministry reveal that due to war on terror, Pakistan had to face $10 billion losses per year in trade

Pakistan’s success in countering-terrorism was acknowledged in the Global Terrorism Index Report 2017 published by the Sydney-based Institute for Economics and Peace

Pakistan has shown improvement in its global terrorism index ranking with a decline in the terrorism incidences and the deaths related to terrorist activities.

In addition to the above quoted report, the foreign investment up to $1234.40 million could not be attracted to Pakistan due to the war on terrorism. The investment and development are directly linked with the peace and security of the Country. I feel pain to inform the International Forum that the deteriorating security situation in the country while helping other ally’s created very unfortunate, distressing and scary security environment in the country which ultimately stopped the investment from abroad adding a bigger stress to our economy. I feel very disheartened to report to you that the country who suffered because of helping in War against Terrorism, Terrorist Financing, Money Laundering, Tracking and attacking the terrorist Ids now stands in grey list of FATF for some petty complaints from the neighborhood country. My nation has a question to the entire International community and I ask this question on behalf that is it the reward for taking side of USA against the crimes against the humanity, and after heavy suffering ultimately we have been now hunted from a hunter? Which is total injustice by some powerful in the international community. The entire country suffered in the hands of Taliban and Al Qaeda both on borders and inside the country.

(The author is former Interior Minister of Pakistan and presently Chairman, Pak Senate Standing Committee on Interior Affairs. He is alsoChairman of Think Tank “Global Eye He can be reached at rmalik1212@gmail.com. Twitter @Senrehmanmalik.)